Design Process – Day Five

Day 5

small cardboard


A lot can me known by putting together some rough ideas in the form of a model, even if it is not fully scaled. It lets the creator work out their ideas and helps to convey them to the rest of the team.

That said, all this thinking can be hard work, so we schedule in some much needed breaks, with snacks! The replenishment of the snack can was cause for much excitement. A current favorite is microwavable Mac and Cheese.


Kickoff & Design Process – Day One

Team at OSU

An early start to a long day

It was with bleary eyes we made our way to OSU where the 2018 FIRST FRC competition would be announced to the entire planet! SWARM, along with a number of other Oregon teams, soon woke up.

students on stage

Next time leave this to actual robots

Our MC had a number of us simulating a robot – with CPU, data transmission, sensors, drive train, and manipulators.

people waiting in a line, of sorts

Lack of pens caused this bottle-neck



After the big game reveal, some of us waited to pick up the kick-off-kit, while others made their way back to the hive.

Printed manuals

Manual work

Do not rush the understanding of the game; it is critical for team success, and something you will appreciate in those long hours in the coming weeks.

We used electronic and paper copies, broke into small groups and individuals and began going through the text. The idea being all would have a good over-all understanding of the game.


students in a group

Coming up with some real stumpers

To insure this is the case, some of our seasoned veterans got together to come up with a short quiz, given to the rest of the team (mentors included.)


We spent the afternoon coming up with a strategy using a team based approach and scoring decision matrix.



Mentor Joe is story boarding our design process this season:

Story Board Day 1

Day 1

Competition Whirlwind

Making it to Semifinals in Wilsonville, eliminations in Oregon City, our work being recognized with a Quality Award, nominating Steve for a Woody Flowers award, a rotating drive team, a bored pit crew, scouting efforts that mattered, and getting an invite to the Pacific Northwest District Championships in Cheney, WA! Wow!

It’s been an amazing season, and with our away team taking the ‘bot to Districts, it is not done yet.

When the dust settles we will update this website, in the mean time catch up with Team 957, SWARM on Facebook.